At Sunday’s grand opening of the Boone County Democratic Headquarters, Sheriff’s Capt. Dwayne Carey stayed toward the back of the crowd with his family. He remained humble in spite of a key endorsement.
Saturday, Boone County Sheriff Ted Boehm changed his mind about not naming his choice for the Democratic sheriff’s candidate. He decided to endorse Carey.
In a short speech, Carey said if he is elected he would continue the work Boehm has done in his two decades as sheriff.
“We’re going to carry on that progress and keep it going uphill,” he said at the event which showcased many of the Missouri’s Democratic candidates.
Carey faces two other candidates in the Aug. 3 primary: sheriff’s Major O.J. Stone and former sheriff’s Detective Ken Kreigh. The Democratic winner will face former Columbia Police Department Captain Mick Covington, who is running unopposed in the Republican primary, in the Nov. 2 general election.
Stone said he was surprised to read about the endorsement in the paper but maintains that the voters make their decisions based on the issues rather than endorsements.
“At one time individual endorsements were a pretty big deal,” Stone said. “But in recent years with the media coverage of campaigners and candidates, people can form their own opinions about who to vote for.”
Stone is chief deputy and has acted as sheriff in Boehm’s absence. He has been with the department for 27 years, 20 of which have been in administration.
Kreigh did not attend the headquarters grand opening and he could not be reached for comment.
Boehm said his decision was primarily based on the increasing number of people who wanted to know where he stood on the election.
“I got to the point where I believed it was my responsibility to not close the door on the people,” Boehm said.
Boehm said Carey is the candidate of the future. “He has a clear vision about where he wants to go and how he plans on accomplishing that,” Boehm said.
Carey said Sunday he had no idea Boehm had endorsed him until a reporter called him Saturday night to get his reaction. He said he had gone to Boehm for advice since he started his campaign, but he had not expected the endorsement.
“It means a lot that he has confidence in me to fill his shoes when he is gone,” Carey said.
In his 15 years working under Boehm, Carey said he has been able to develop a strong professional relationship with his sheriff.
“I’ve done a good job for him, and he’s rewarded me over the years,” Carey said.
Boehm, who first ran for sheriff in 1984, said he received an endorsement from retiring sheriff Charlie Foster when he was in Carey’s position. Though it didn’t affect the effort he put into his campaign, Boehm said he very much appreciated the endorsement.
Although Carey and Stone both work at the department, they both said they expect no problems and the endorsement will not affect their professional relationship. Boehm said the two have handled themselves professionally since they decided to run for sheriff, and he also doesn’t expect any problems to arise because of his endorsement.
Carey, who has lived in Columbia all his life, graduated from Hickman High School. After attending MU for two years, he transferred to Columbia College where he received a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. Carey joined the Boone County Sheriff’s Department after graduating.